Culling of wild boars starts in Lower Peirce

At least 3 killed so far; NParks says more cages installed to trap animals
Feng Zengkun Straits Times 21 Mar 13;


When The Straits Times visited the area on Sunday, several monkeys were trapped in one of the cages but there were no signs of the boars or rope snares. NParks conservation director Wong Tuan Wah declined to say how many wild boars will be killed in total. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM

THE wild boar culling exercise in Lower Peirce has begun, with at least three of the animals killed so far.

They were sedated and euthanised with drug injections, said the National Parks Board (NParks). Their bodies were then incinerated.

The agency also installed more cages in the area last month to trap the creatures.

NParks conservation director Wong Tuan Wah declined to say how many will be killed in total, adding that this would depend on their threat to people's safety and their impact on the forest.

"The wild boars trample and destroy the forest undergrowth, which adversely affects its biodiversity and rate of natural re-growth," he said.

NParks has said there should be no more than seven wild boars in the 1.5 sq km Lower Peirce area in a balanced eco-system, based on numerous studies done in other countries.

But its officers have observed two herds in the area with 80 to 100 animals in total.

Mr Wong added that NParks installed additional cages in the area last month to trap the wild boars. It also built a large enclosure in the forest late last year for the same purpose.

Lower Peirce residents noticed the cages and rope traps in the forest earlier this month, but Mr Wong said the rope traps had been illegally set up by its contractor. They have been removed.

Rope traps are not permitted as they can cause injury to animals, he said. He added that the contractor was given a warning after the incident but is still employed by NParks.

When The Straits Times visited the area on Sunday, several monkeys were trapped in one of the cages but there were no signs of the boar or rope snares.

Animal welfare groups such as the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society called on NParks to allow them to observe the culling and to conduct more local scientific research on the boar's impact to justify the cull.

Said Mr Marcus Chua, 29, a graduate research student at the National University of Singapore who has studied the issue: "The last NParks-published study with local field research relevant to boars in nature reserves here was in 1997."

That was a three-year survey for flora and fauna in the reserves carried out with Singapore's Nature Society.

NParks said last October that it would monitor the population of animals including wild boars, sambar deer and banded leaf monkeys in the nature reserves. This will involve identifying where various animals are found, estimating their numbers and monitoring their movements and other behaviour.

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